This article first appeared on 28 April 2015 on www.ausport.gov.au
The latest assessment of sport has predicted the Australian team at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio will perform better than it did at the London Games in 2012.
Releasing the AIS Sports Tally 2015 – the annual report card for Australian sports – AIS Director Matt Favier said high performance sport was heading in the right direction.
“The reality is, in cut throat world class competition, being world’s best comes down to miniscule margins which makes predicting the future a difficult task,” Favier said.
“Australia has made good progress throughout 2014 and I’m confident we will finish well within the top ten in Rio.
“Should this happen, it will be the first time since the 2000 Olympics an Australian team has improved its overall position from the previous Games.
“Australia’s position in the top ten will be decided by our athletes’ level of conversion from bronze and silver medals to gold medals.
“The only certainty is that the competition in Rio will be extraordinarily tough.
“The Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year showed how competitive international sport has become but we are certain the changes made since London under Australia’s Winning Edge have our sports on the right track for long-term, sustainable success.”
Sports Tally was one of a raft of initiatives under Australia’s Winning Edge, a 10-year strategy which includes the target of finishing in the top five at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It reviews how Australia’s national sporting organisations have performed over the past year, provides a forecast for the year ahead and an honest and public appraisal of the performance of each Winning Edge funded sport.
“The Olympic and Paralympic targets announced under Winning Edge were ambitious, and the plan, bold. The one thing that Australians can be sure of is that the AIS remains committed to the Winning Edge strategy,” he said.
In 2014 the AIS oversaw many more changes to the sports sector including the re-allocation of $20 million of high performance funding among sports, an increased share of funding to our foundation sports from 64 to 71 per cent and a boost in direct athlete funding — or dAIS — by $3.6 million.
“We are building a more agile system under the Winning Edge to get the right support to the right sports and the right athletes and we are committed to making further adjustments to investments where there is a compelling case as Rio approaches,” he said.